Treasures of Colombia: Bandeja Paisa (Colombian Street Food)

Feel the need to eat like a King? 

Well the Bandeja Paisa is just the dish for you!

The Bandeja Paisa is a typical dish of the Andean region Antioquia, Medellin. “Paisa” speaks about the people of that region and “Bandeja” means tray or platter on which the food is served – hence the name “Bandeja Paisa”.

treasures of colombia with stacey ann smith

Colombian Street Food – Bandeja Paisa (Colombian Street Food).

By: Stacey-Ann Smith.

The Bandeja Paisa is somewhat of a complex dish filled with an assortment of meats and starches.

Although it was created by the Paisa people it is loved and eaten all over the thirty two departments (parishes) of Colombia; with each region putting its own touch to it – without changing the original components.

The very first day my friend Akeem and I flew to Villavicencio – department of Meta; we went in search of food as we were famished.

On reaching the restaurant we browsed the colorful picturesque menu and we decided to order this special dish that we had never seen or eaten whilst living on the coast (en la costa) Sincelejo. Upon arrival of the dish we were amazed at the large quantity and also the odd assortment on any given plate.


The tray consisted of:

  • White rice
  • Red beans cooked with pork (similar to our Jamaican Stew peas)
  • Chicharron (crispy pork skin)
  • Mince
  • Chorizo
  • Fried egg
  • Ripe plantain
  • A small white Arepa
  • Avocado

Bandeja Paisa – Paisa Tray

The Bandeja Paisa can be found in almost any restaurant and the price varies according to the status of the restaurant. I have this dish on my to-do list and whenever I return to Jamaica and there is a special occasion – this will be the dish I will prepare for my guests.

You too can try this dish – it will spark interest in your family or guests.


About the writer:

Stacey Ann Smith is from Kingston, Jamaica.  She is an alumna of Camperdown High School and she graduated from The Shortwood Teachers’ College having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Languages, Spanish and French. Presently, Stacey is an English teacher at a University in Colombia.  She describes herself as a vivacious and loving person who also has a passion for traveling, taking pictures, her son Nicholas and Ashley, her adorable feline.


Copyright © 2019, Denise N. Fyffe, The Island Journal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.